one of my must-see’s during ldf each year is 100% norway. the exhibition at tent london seeks to bring the best of norwegian furniture and product design to london each year and 2014’s selection most certainly does not disappoint!
trying to pinpoint my six favourite designs from the presentation was no easy feat, especially as this year’s appointment of the bergen academy of art & design as show curators has expanded the exhibition parameters to include students work at bachelor’s and master’s level, alongside experienced designers already well known on the international scene.
andreas engesvik co-founded design company norway says in 2002 and launched a solo studio in 2009, garnering a wealth of design accolades and awards as well as producing pieces for some of my favourite nordic brands including iittala, muuto and asplund, so it stands to reason that his bunad blankets inspired by norway’s traditional dress immediately jumped out at me. dating from the 18th century, bunad is one of the most visible aspects of norway’s cultural heritage, and engesvik’s blankets transfer the colours and composition into textile form, taking the essence of norwegian folk costume into interiors. perfect for a coastal nordic cabin, don’t you agree?
the mindful eating series by camilla akersveen is designed to enhance the sensory experience of food by playing with aspects such as insulation to transmit the warmth of the content to the user. i was drawn to the smooth aesthetics of the range and the tactile nature of the prototypes on display, that echo traditionally japanese food rituals in my eyes.
tuthanka by margit seland is a series of porcelain decanters, cups and bowls in white and dyed earth tones – although naturally it was the flash of vibrant yellow that drew my eye initially! the shape and materials of the sanded matte exteriors and smooth glazed interiors create a pleasing textural contrast, allowing margit to work on the border between design and craftsmanship.
hailing from the scenically spectacular municipality of jølster, aud julie befring draws upon norway’s inspiring natural landscape in her work, alongside native craft traditions. the oversized cross stitches sewn through a birch wood seat in her sting storage unit, bring together embroidery and log building as two of the nation’s creative pastimes. the resulting playful pouffe provides the perfect storage vessel for magazines, blankets – even wool!
hedda torgersen’s cheeky boo desk lamp is both versatile and playful, designed to fulfill a practical purpose whilst simultaneously triggering an emotional response – well, he is super duper cute, right? the curious head of this fun little character can be made in either porcelain or corian, while the spindly ash wood legs are adjustable, allowing you to play a role in shaping the character of your lamp – how adorable!
my final pick from the show is oslo-based design collective angell, wyller & aarseth‘s saddle chair, named for the cushions which hang over the arms featuring handy pockets for tv remotes, newspapers or tablets. i love that the solid wooden structure of the chair is underpinned with softness and comfort through the use of soft supple leather and the casual addition of these pocket flaps, which encourage both purpose and relaxation.
did you visit 100% norway? do you have a favourite product from the show which i’ve omitted – let me know!